Numerous as are the contrivances for facilitating the study of the honey bee, we have not one which enables the bee-keeper from day to day to note the progress of his hive. In order to know exactly the diurnal accumulation of sweetness in the shape of honey, a simple and cheap contrivance has been devised by Shirley Hibberd, of Tottenham, England, and which the accompanying engraving represents. Construct a pedestal for a hive on the plan shown in the diagram. Let it be formed telescope fashion : a turned pillar, A, working like a piston in a brass or copper cylinder, B. Inside B, and beneath the pillar, A, is a spiral spring, C, of brass or steel wire, and on this spring the pillar, A, rests. In the front of the cylinder, B, are two open slits, and between them an index marked in accordance with the strength of the spring. The right hand slit is simply a groove in which a finger, c, works freely up and down when moved by the hand, and a screw fixes it in any position. The finger, d, is attached to the base of the pillar, and the slit in which it works is quite open; so that as A presses down the spiral spring, the finger, d, marks the gross weight of the hive, hive-board, sufers, bees and honey. At e a thumb screw passes through the rim of the cylinder, B, to press against the pillar, A, and retain it in its position. This is to prevent any jerking up of the hive on tlie removal of a cup or sufer. The use of such a contrivance can need but little explanation. The hive, with its swarm and floor-board is placed upon the pillar, and its gross weight is immediately marked by the finger, d. Suppose the gross weight to be ten pounds, fix the finger, c, at ten pounds, the finger, d, will the next evening mark the increase in the twenty-four hours; if the sufer is put on, its gross weight should be also marked by c, and whenever you wish to know the amount of honey in the hive, just deduct the weight marked by c from that marked by d, and the remainder is the weight required.
This article was originally published with the title "Self-Acting Indicator Bee Stand" in Scientific American 13, 20, 156 (January 1858)